Prep schools in East Surrey area(15 Posts)
I'm looking for opinions from people who have children in any of the prep schools in the East Surrey area.
We have not been in the area long and need a place in reception for DS in Sept 17. Are there any you think we should particularly look at? Any we'd already have missed the boat for so shouldn't bother looking at?
It would be really useful to get some ideas from parents before contacting the schools so I can focus my efforts!
Thanks in advance!
I know quite a few people who have children at Hazelwood in Oxted and are very happy with it.
Lingfield Notre Dame also heard good things and they now go straight through to 18. We considered it for DD, but they have recently switched from having the prep kids sit the entrance exam for the secondary to a guaranteed place (all being well etc) - we weren't in a position to decide what DD may be suited to at 11 and if we decided we wanted all-girls or something then she wouldn't be prepped for the 11+ and we'd be having to tutor on top of school fees.
Heard good things about Brambletye in terms of facilities, but child was only in pre-prep so no idea about further up the school.
No idea if that is the right bit of East Surrey...
Came on to say Hazlewood and Lingfield Notredame
Another one is Woldingham school if you have a girl. I know people who are very happy with it.
East Surrey is pretty vague, can you narrow it down a bit?
Haha fair enough LIZS! Say, a 10 mile radius around East Surrey hospital area? Hope that narrows it down a bit.
Thanks for others' input so far too
No personal experience but how about Caterham Prep, gives you the option through to 18?
To the north you've got Hawthorns, Micklefield, Reigate St Mary's (linked to Reigate Grammar) , Aberdour, Oakhurst Grange , Warlingham Park Prep (Woldingham is secondary only) , Hazelwood, Caterham Prep (linked to Caterham School) , to the East Copthorne, Lingfield Notre Dame (linked to secondary) . Most have a nursery class so limit their reception intake. There are a couple of others ... Bear in mind morning traffic can be very congested so you may be better heading southeast than trying to get through Redhiill or Reigate.
If you're considering the area around East Surrey hospital, the schools most often considered are:
- Reigate St Mary's. Well regarded and highly sought after now that some pupils are given offers to Reigate Grammar without having to sit the 11+ entrance tests.
- Micklefield. Used to be regarded as a good prep for Reigate grammar, now seems to have a reputation for being less academic than Reigate St Mary's.
- Hawthorns. A bit more of a drive from Reigate/Redhill but a good all round prep school. Fantastic facilities being semi-rural, not selective at Reception, but good academics in general with lots of pupils going on to the likes of Caterham and Reigate Grammar, also good sports and music. My DC went there until we moved away from the area and I was pretty happy with it overall, although that is a few years ago. I still have some contact with current parents though, who generally seem happy with it.
Essendene Lodge in Chaldon and Brambletye in East Grinstead were 2 others I couldn't recall in my last post , there is also a junior school to Moon Hall in Leigh but may be dyslexic specialist now.
I've got children at The Hawthorns and it's a fabulous school. The teachers are incredibly nurturing and there seems to be a sensible focus on the mix of academic/sport/music/drama etc rather than other schools where the prime focus seems to be on the academic. I understand over 50% of last year's leavers got scholarships to their senior schools so they must be getting it right!
One word of warning about going for a school either that goes to 18 or feeds into a senior school. It's fine if your child is academic, but if they're not, by about Year 4 or 5 you'll be told that they won't be suited to the Senior School and you'll have to look elsewhere. There also isn't the support if you want to apply for other senior schools. I think it's much better to go to a school that will be able to work with you to decide which senior school will be the best fit for your child. How can you know what senior school will work for them at the age of 4 (or younger)?
Good luck making your choice!
We've been to see a few now and it is so hard to choose between them. As you say, it's difficult to know what the DC will be like in years to come so where will suit them better.
I can see the pros and cons of all through schools versus prep. Do you think prep schools are more pressurised re the 11+ or 13+, or does it just feel like part of normal school IYSWIM?
A school which goes through to 13+ /common entrance focuses on that ime. Those looking to leave at 11+ ( mainly girls) do not receive the same level of preparation (our DC have done each) although many 13+ entry senior schools are now pretesting in y6/7. Schools where everyone leaves at 11 do more prep for 11+ exams although if there is a progression route to a linked senior ( such as RSM to RGS , Caterham prep to Caterham School or Lingfield Notre Dame) they may not cover the alternatives. Very few local private secondaries now intake only at 13.
Year 8 in a prep is very much a means to an end with little new teaching and lots of exam practice.
Thanks. So based on your local knowledge and experience, would Copthorne or Hawthorns be better than Lingfield do you think? And are Copthorne and Hawthorns as good as each other or is one generally considered better?
It depends where you live and where you hope to move on to. Lingfield is considerably cheaper and if you are thinking of their senior school it would make sense to go right though. If you are thinking of alternatives at secondary then dc might feel more prepared with others sharing that expectation. If you are near the Sussex border Ardingly might also be worth a look.
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